Breast exams are a vital part of your overall well-being—and not just the evaluations your gynecologist provides. Understanding how to perform a breast self-exam and what to look for is an important step in monitoring your female health needs. Consider the following ways you can conduct a breast exam at home and how it will help you stay ahead of any potential issues.
How Do You Perform a Self-Exam?
While your gynecologist will perform a breast exam as part of your annual checkup, women are still advised to conduct their own once a month. This should be done while in the shower, in front of a mirror, or while lying down.
To conduct a breast exam when standing, raise one arm above your head and use your other hand to examine the opposite breast. Using the pads of your fingers, move your hand in a circular motion around the breast and armpit area, feeling for any lumps, knots, or thickened tissue. While lying down, place a pillow under your shoulder and raise an arm above your head, feeling the tissue inside and under the breast in the same circular motion. When performing a mirror examination, observe the skin and texture of each breast for any dimpling or puckering.
What Should You Look For?
While no two breasts are identical, changes in just one breast or the skin of your chest should be discussed with your doctor. This may be any kind of lump or swelling, in addition to coloring or dimpling. If you notice any changes—whether in appearance or texture—schedule a visit with your gynecologist. Don't panic—many benign factors can cause these changes, from hormonal fluctuations to weight gain or loss. Your gynecologist will perform a breast exam on you to address any issues you may notice.
Whether you’re looking for more guidance on breast exams or simply need a gynecologist, women in Rochester, NY, turn to the team at Greece OB-GYN, LLP. The doctors on staff provide essential female health services, ranging from annual checkups to birth control and family planning. To learn more about their services, visit them online or call (585) 225-6680 to schedule an appointment.